Rocky Mountain Brewing News August/September 2013 : Page 1

GOING LOCAL : There’s Nothing Crazy about Community-Centric Brewing By John S. Adams Beer servers Anna Jean Smith, Jolyn Eggart, Whitney Hobbs and Maggie Springer are happy to serve up a cold beer and a smile at Missoula’s popular Draught Works brewery. Below-Draught Works co-owner Jeff Grant, at f right, and brewer Peter Landman discuss the fi ner points of NAD ADAMS. DAMS beer making in the open-air brew room. PHOTOS BY JOHN rewing beer is in Jeff Grant's blood. Grant, co-owner and head brewer at Missoula's newest brewery, Draught Works, is a second generation brew-er. His parents owned and operated the Milestown Brewing in Miles City before they sold the equipment to Beaver Creek Brewery in Wibaux, Mont. Grant, himself a longtime home brewer, decided he wanted to take his craft to the next level. "I was real big on not only did I want to be a brewer, but I wanted to open a brewery of my own," says Grant. A graduate of the prestigious World Brewing Academy at Chicago's Siebel Institute of Technology, Grant spent five years as a brewer at Four Peaks Brewing Co. in Tempe, Ariz., before set-ting out to start his own brewery with partner Paul Marshall. Grant, who earned a business degree from the University in Montana in Missoula, knew the Garden City loved good beer. After all, it was home to Montana's three largest and most successful breweries: Bayern Brewing, Big Sky Brewing and KettleHouse Brewing Co. But with three big craft breweries in town already, was there room for another brewery in Missoula? Grant and Marshall thought there was. "Missoula is known as the craft beer Mecca of Montana, but a new brewery hadn't opened here in more than 11 years," Grant said. "And we wanted to bring something to the table that nobody else is really doing." Grant and Marshall decided they would fully embrace traditional lager beers in addi-tion to ales. See Draught Works p. 4 John S. Adams ILLUSTRATION BY: HANS GRANHEIM L ocal is in. Just take a stroll down to your town's farmers market where you'll no doubt see an ever-expanding selection of locally grown produce and homemade goodies flying off the tables on any given weekend. Or maybe check out your favor-ite grocery store, food co-op or natural food store, where local food and products are increasingly in demand. Craft breweries in the Rocky Mountain West are not immune to this trend. Every day brewers are looking for new ways to incorporate local ingredients — from hops to grains and even more exotic ingredi-ents like hot peppers — into their beer recipes. In Montana, most of the state's breweries use malts grown in Montana and malted at the Malteurop plant in Great Falls. Many of the hops used in craft beers throughout the region are grown in Washington, Oregon or Idaho. But some breweries are taking local to the extreme, using ingredients grown in their com-See Local p. 3 Calender....................2 Homebrew.................7 Beer Directory.....10-12 Utah.................5 Idaho...............6 Wyoming.........8 Montana..........9 Upper Front Range.........13 Central Peaks..................14 Western Slope.................15 Denver..............................16 Lower Front Range.........17 Four Corners...................18 Colorado

Going Local: There’s Nothing Crazy About Community-Centric Brewing

John S. Adams

Local is in. Just take a stroll down to your town's farmers market where you'll no doubt see an ever-expanding selection of locally grown produce and homemade goodies flying off the tables on any given weekend. Or maybe check out your favorite grocery store, food co-op or natural food store, where local food and products are increasingly in demand.

Craft breweries in the Rocky Mountain West are not immune to this trend. Every day brewers are looking for new ways to incorporate local ingredients — from hops to grains and even more exotic ingredients like hot peppers — into their beer recipes.

In Montana, most of the state's breweries use malts grown in Montana and malted at the Malteurop plant in Great Falls. Many of the hops used in craft beers throughout the region are grown in Washington, Oregon or Idaho.

But some breweries are taking local to the extreme, using ingredients grown in their communities and even in their neighborhoods to produce unique and tantalizing brews. At Montana's Lewis & Clark Brewing Co., the end of August means hop harvesting time in Helena. Patrons are urged to bring in their fresh hop flowers by the wheel barrow-full for the annual Neighborhood Fresh Hop IPA brew. The brewers rarely know what kinds of hops they're getting and for the most part they don't care. However many pounds of locally-grown fresh hops show up at the brewery find their way to the kettle, and anyone who brings in fresh hops gets a discount on every pint of Neighborhood IPA.

About 80 miles away at Bowser Brewing in Great Falls, Mont., one of the bestselling beers is a jalapeño hefeweizen. Bowser patrons who happen to have green thumbs and a surplus of hot peppers are encouraged to bring them in to their local tap room.

"Since we love using local products, we are going to be doing a community Jalapeño Hefe," said owner Evan Bowser. "Of course it is hard to get the amount of jalapeños we use from a single local source so we are calling out to the community to bring in as many peppers as they can spare."

Bowser also features local ingredients in their Smoot Honey Ale, which features 98 percent local barley and 90 pounds of honey from the nearby Smoot Honey Company in Power, Mont.

In Ouray, Colo., the Mr. Grumpy Pants Brewing Co. Doesn't just use all local whole hops grown within a 30-mile radius to brew their truly micro brews. Owner, brewer and Mr. Grumpy Pants himself, James "Hutch" Hutchison, strives to make his beers as unique and interesting as the clientele that frequent the 1.5 barrel brewery in the ice climbing capital of North America.

You won't find a beer like the Sweet Smokin' Jen Yummylicious Sexy Bitchcakes anywhere else on the planet, partly because the ingredients (and the namesake inspiration) are entirely local. A German rauchbier, the Sweet Smokin' Jen Yummylicious Sexy Bitchcakes uses malts that are dried over a cherry wood fire. Even the smoke is local, as the cherry wood used to smoke the malt comes from trees in a neighbor's yard. The hops are grown on the side of O'Briens Pub, a local restaurant two blocks away owned by the beer's namesake, Jen Greenholt. "Most of the beers are inspired by some of the more colorful locals," said Hutchison.

Beers such as Mongolian Mystic Mountain Magic is named after a female ice climber known as "Dolgio," Ouray's only real female dirtbagette famous for ice climbing 72 days out of a 73-day season. The One Arm, One Leg, One IPA honors the local adaptive sports ice-climbing program known to locals as "Gimps On Ice." The artwork for the beer labels and stickers were designed by Charlie McGreggor, a local high school student, and the brewery's sign was painted by Denise McGreggor, a local "cosmic hippie chick" who bought the wood and paint at the local hardware store across the street. "The brewery and the beer are really inspired by the locals and what they like to drink," Hutchison said.

But "going local" isn't just about the ingredients in beers or the artwork on the packaging. Many breweries are putting a new spin on the "public house" concept by turning their tasting rooms into local gathering spaces where they showcase local musical talent, local artists, or raise money for local charities and causes.

Many breweries regularly host charity "pint nights" where they give portions of every pint of beer sold to a local cause in an effort to give back to their communities.

In Fort Collins, Colo., eight local craft breweries — Black Bottle Brewery, C.B. & Potts Restaurant & Brewery, Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewing, Equinox Brewing, Fort Collins Brewery, Odell Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, and Pateros Creek Brewing — came together to sponsor and build a Habitat for Humanity home in Fort Collins, the House That Beer Built.

"The breweries are raising funds and in-kind support to help rebuild a house lost in last year's High Park Fire, and all are brewing special beers whose proceeds will help fund the project," explained Cathy Jones, of Pateros Creek Brewing Co. The breweries set a goal to raise $100,000 to build a new home for a family who lost their house last June in the High Park Fire, an 87,000-acre wildfire west of Fort Collins that destroyed more than 250 homes and killed one woman.

Bryan Simpson, public relations director for New Belgium Brewing, said the brewer of the mightily popular Fat Tire Amber Ale has been involved in the local philanthropy scene since the early days of the company's success. "We have a lot of philanthropic programs where we work with local groups," Simpson explained.

New Belgium's "Tour de Fat" traveling bicycle parade and freak show is in its 13th year traveling the country raising money for local bicycle nonprofits. The tour has raised more than $2.5 million toward making communities safer places to ride a bike. "We spend a lot of time and energy working with non-profits to help them better their communities," Simpson said.

In Boise, Bogus Brewing is attempting to do something Idaho has never seen before in a local brewery. The fledgling brewery is built on a community supported model whereby members have a stake in the brewery and are paid "dividends" in the form of beer. Founder Collin Rudeen raised $31,000 last year for his community-supported brewery on the crowd-source fundraising Internet site Kickstarter.com.

"Local is really what it's all about," Rudeen said. "Community-supporting brewing is my original concept for the brewery and it is what is going to make us different." Rudeen signed a lease on a space in downtown Boise in June, and now he and brewer Lance Chavez are hoping to raise about $240,000 to start purchasing equipment though an IPO, or "Idaho Public Offering."

For a $1,000 investment in the brewery, you get part ownership, which entitles you to voting rights, shareholder meetings and dividends if the company is able. "It's a perfect marriage of the philosophy of the company as well as a good way to finance the brewery," Rudeen said.

Owners who buy shares in the brewery will get to take part in "Guniea Pig Nights" throughout the year where they'll get to beta-test pilot batches of beer and provide input. "It's a chance for them to taste what's coming down the line before anyone else and on the flip side we get free market research," Rudeen explained. Rudeen hopes to have the financing in place by the end of the year with a goal of opening early 2014. You don't have to look too hard to see from hops and grains to characters and causes, brewers across the Rocky Mountain Region are embracing the local concept.

Read the full article at http://mydigitalpublication.com/article/Going+Local%3A+There%E2%80%99s+Nothing+Crazy+About+Community-Centric+Brewing/1477352/170853/article.html.

Draught Works

John S. Adams

Beer is in the Blood at the

Beer servers Anna Jean Smith, Jolyn Eggart, Whitney Hobbs and Maggie Springer are happy to serve up a cold beer and a smile at Missoula’s popular Draught Works brewery. Below- Draught Works co-owner Jeff Grant, at right, and brewer Peter Landman discuss the finer points beer making in the open-air brew room.

Brewing beer is in Jeff Grant's blood. Grant, co-owner and head brewer at Missoula's newest brewery, Draught Works, is a second generation brewer. His parents owned and operated the Milestown Brewing in Miles City before they sold the equipment to Beaver Creek Brewery in Wibaux, Mont.

Grant, himself a longtime home brewer, decided he wanted to take his craft to the next level. "I was real big on not only did I want to be a brewer, but I wanted to open a brewery of my own," says Grant.

A graduate of the prestigious World Brewing Academy at Chicago's Siebel Institute of Technology, Grant spent five years as a brewer at Four Peaks Brewing Co. In Tempe, Ariz., before setting out to start his own brewery with partner Paul Marshall.

Grant, who earned a business degree from the University in Montana in Missoula, knew the Garden City loved good beer. After all, it was home to Montana's three largest and most successful breweries: Bayern Brewing, Big Sky Brewing and KettleHouse Brewing Co.

But with three big craft breweries in town already, was there room for another brewery in Missoula? Grant and Marshall thought there was. "Missoula is known as the craft beer Mecca of Montana, but a new brewery hadn't opened here in more than 11 years," Grant said. "And we wanted to bring something to the table that nobody else is really doing." Grant and Marshall decided they would fully embrace traditional lager beers in addition to ales.

"We weren't interested in just having a lager on tap every once in a while. We wanted one of our flagship beers to be a lager." Draught Works opened its considerable garage-style doors to the public in October 2011 and the Quill Pig Czech-style pilsner quickly became one of the brewery's fastest selling beers. The traditional Czech-style pilsner uses Bohemian pilsner malt and traditional Czech Saaz hops. "We just blew through it," Grant recalls.

Draught Works features five flagship beers and up to seven seasonal and experimental beers on rotation. In addition to Quill Pig, Draught Works' flagship beers include Clothing Optional pale ale, Scepter Head IPA, Gwin Du Welsh-style tribute stout, and Shadow Caster Alt.

In addition, what makes Draught Works stand out is its location. The brewery occupies an 80-year old industrial building on the edge of Missoula's popular Northside neighborhood. Five years ago many of the abandoned industrial buildings sat empty and the area was considered by many to be a blight on the neighborhood.

"Since we've been here, a rock climbing gym has opened down the street, Summer Sun Garden and Brew supply opened a fully stocked brewing supply store, there's a bike shop down the road," Grant said. "One thing that's really exciting is the neighborhood in general has really embraced us and welcomed us. We give the neighbors a lot of credit for giving us a chance to show what we could offer this community."

The open-air layout of the brewery puts visitors up-close-and-personal with the brewing process. The brew kettles, bright tanks and serving tanks are on one end of the vast building behind the bar, with no walls separating the customers from the brewing process.

"Paul and I were real big on educating people about the beer-making process," Grant said. "At Draught Works the brewery is very much right in the customers' laps. The tanks being right next to the bar just beg people to ask questions about the beer they're drinking, and people have great, detailed questions."

Large garage doors open up onto a vast, fully-enclosed deck area where local bands entertain customers on warm summer afternoons. A mobile BBQ pork shack parks out front on most summer afternoons and sells some of the most decadent racks of ribs you're likely to taste this side of the Mississippi to hungry beer drinkers.

Missoula is one of the most bike-friendly towns in the Northern Rockies, and Draught Works encourages customers to ride to the brewery by offering ample bike racks and even free bike lock rentals. If you're on your bike but forgot your lock you can check out a key for a bike lock. They even have two permanently mounted bike pumps available if you need to fill up your tires. "We want to be the kind of place that the community embraces and is proud of," Grant said.

The upstart brewery has quickly become a popular destination for beer drinkers from around Montana. It's even drawing attention outside the state. On a recent trip to Billings, J.T. Dell, a music teacher from Portland, Ore., stopped off in Missoula to try one of Draught Works' flagship beers, the Gwin Du Welsh-style tribute stout. "I love porters and stouts and I knew that Draught Works had good beer," Dell said.

Dell said in addition to the tasty brews, he was very much impressed by the brewery itself and the large, welcoming sample room and patio area. Carlos Valdez, a Chilean-born Chicagoan who recently was visiting his in-laws in Missoula seconded Dells' impressions of the Draught Works' products."The quality of the beers is very good and the place is very cool," Valdez said. "When you like beer, you like the process. I like brew pubs that have the brewing equipment in plain sight. They have very good beer and I have done my share of tasting."

Draught Works recently hired their first full-time brewer, Peter Landman, and they're gearing up to begin distributing outside their own sample room in the coming months. "We definitely wanted to test the product in the sample room and see what the public likes and what would be good candidates for distribution," Grant explained. Grant said Draught Works just added four 30-barrel tanks, more than doubling their previous capacity.

If all goes well, Draught Works beers should be on tap in local restaurants and bars by the end of the summer, Grant said. Though he gets a lot of questions from customers about future canning or bottling plans, Grant said he and Marshall are taking things one step at a time.

Read the full article at http://mydigitalpublication.com/article/Draught+Works/1477356/170853/article.html.

Next Page


Publication List
Using a screen reader? Click Here